Hi RMichelson – I don’t think onion sets are good winter-sowing candidates. The uncut half-inch or so will serve as a hinge. I’m cleaning out my mudroom and discovered some old clear plastic containers with lids. How do you reduce the amount of time to transplant all of the seedlings? Ann – Yes, you can winter-sow even in a mild climate. I planted some seeds inside and put them by a window, it was a miracle they survived transplant but it’s so much work, and doesn’t look nice in the dining room. You leave the caps off the containers so that rain and snow can get inside. The cold temps keep the seed viable until the spring rain and warmer temps bring it to life. The uncut half-inch or so will serve as a hinge. (I’m saving more). (The anchored jugs stood up to my awful coastal winds.) The idea is to sow seeds outdoor in winter in anything that would protect your seeds/seedlings […], […] 9, 2012 by Jen Winter Sowing I got this great idea from Kevin Lee Jacobs over at A Garden for the House. i didn’t get my tulip bulbs planted before the first snow. this sounds like exactly what I need to do! Looking forward to an even better gardening year this year . And I really enjoyed several others which I still have not identified! But truly are PERMANENT. Hi Alice Marty – Go ahead and use the info and photos for your presentation. This means throwing a blanket over their containers, or moving them to warmer quarters at night. Thank you, Kevin, for this great advance in gardening! Hi Kevin, Thank you for your post! when I got into a conversation with the cashier about planting. Thank you for all the lovely photos which got me through the winter. Plenty of empty milk jugs at my house( two teenage boys! Thanks for your great newsletter. I CAN SIT AT MY COMPUTER, GLANCE AS MY BLOOMS, AND SEE SNOW COVERED GROUND OUTSIDE MY WINDOW. These natural actions loosen the seed-coatings. I am assuming zone 5, NH is similar to your climate? I am definitely going to try this winter growing sounds interesting and Thanks . For me, the whitish jugs will be all I use in the future. This time I’m following your directions to make my own mini greenhouses! The home gardener said she used Sharpie Industrial Permanent markers…she said they were very hard to find. The winter sowing concept seems to be a good idea. Plus, it looks like I’m in the same zone as you so I can use your list of when to plant things. This is so simple, I want to say DUH! Thank you. Love it and shared it on NorthernHomeGarden. we are in South Western Ontario 1 hour west of Toronto. A commercial peat-moss and perlite mix is fine. Hello and Happy New Year everyone. From what I’ve read, the herb can be tricky to start from seed — even under the best of circumstances. I’m tempted to try cilantro, but it’s been such a touchy herb to grow I lost faith, though I do still have some seeds…. Do you think i have to tape the top of the carton back on? This simple process relies on sun, snow and rain to do the work of breaking down the seed coat and getting the seeds to sprout. Hi Chris Sherwood – You can definitely winter-sow in Vancouver, BC. But by the 3rd week they all have a little something growning. I […], […] referred to last Mother’s Day? I had good results, but wasn’t sure if it would work with the newer opaque milk jugs, so I tried it last winter. I expect them to bloom in 2012. http://www.nargs.org/nargswiki/tiki-index.php?page=Primula+-+Candelabra+types. I’d like to know if this method is recommended for California, zone 9, where we have much milder winters. To hydrate peat, pour very not (but not boiling) water into the bag, and then seal the bag for several hours. I live in North Dakota. Oh my gosh! Never had any luck with seeds and often wondered how the Amish do that, but now I will try this. Should they be placed in full sun and if so would this mean they would need to be watered more frequently? For much more detailed information from someone who has actually seen results, visit A Garden for the House to learn more, including what to sow and […], […] matter what zone they are in. These can all be reused again for years, and stack away easily off-season. I’m hoping the job comes with a sash. I love this idea! I’m reading Eliot Coleman’s 4-season harvest right now and I like what he says about making gardening a year round event (so I don’t go crazy in the winter! Have fun! And simple agrees with this girl. I’ll let you know how they turn out. Thank you anita. I’m worried that I got them in too late. Thanks…. Looks like I have some time to snag extra milk jugs from family and friends before I start my vegetables! I have referred several people to here as well. Janet – Glad you're going to try winter-sowing this season. 1989 School Street Next, punch out drainage holes in the bottom of the container. Use the knife to cut around the middle of the jug. Here are the basic steps to winter sowing: Reclaim from your recycling bin clear or transparent plastic containers such as 1-gallon milk jugs and 2-liter soda bottles. But, it worked! You helped me with the milk cure for my roses last summer when I couldn’t find it. Here is the link to the annuals/vegetables article. In a nutshell, winter sowing, or winter seed sowing, is sowing seeds indoors in the winter in mini greenhouse-like containers, like milk jugs or other recycled containers, and setting the containers outside in the winter elements until Mother Nature germinates the seeds in the spring. Perhaps I should read through the four years’ of comments and questions to find the answer. Hi Nelly – Nice to meet you. Cut a plastic milk jug nearly in half. I just planted some seeds from my England trip last year as well as tomatoes. But as spring came and my life got busier, I discovered all my hard work during the winter was wasted because I was not home for a few days and all my cute little seedlings ended up roasting to death in my makeshift greenhouses. It doesn't matter if temperatures fluctuate. I can’t believe you put this in today, when it’s been so much on my mind. Does each milk jug content get transplanted as is, or do you separate each sprout for transplanting individually? Worked like a charm. The perennials I tried …lupine, delphiniums, and a few others ….very few germinated and the ended up dying before the cold season was over…..long winter last season….snowed on and off all the way up to June. Also The GardenWeb has some interesting discussion on winter sowing […], […] are some links that describe winter sowing in detail. (I used a long, thick nail heated on our gas stove flame to make my holes…worked great.). How much earlier should I start? This is exactly what I needed. The Winter-Sowing Method - Green Thumb Thursday - Northern Homestead, I did it! They will make great year end gifts for the teachers. I received a handwritten thank you and a free packet of seeds. I sowed everything the beginning of March and had more plants than I knew what to do with! Now to find some milk jugs . Mary Mac – Not to worry — your seeds (and mine!) I’m looking forward to not spending a small fortune at the greenhouse this year and knowing that my plants are not sprayed with anything that might be harmful to the bees and other pollinators. I am excited to see the result! Any ideas? Ventilation is the key to preventing excess heat from building up in the greenhouse, and baking the seeds to death. Reply. (besides not planting as many seeds in each container?). That motivated me to get the other 11 out there and all settled in. You will probably find — as I have — that winter-sowing can be highly addictive. Last year, I tried your method. Thank you for your post! Germination for tomato seeds occurs when the soil temperature reaches approx. This is my first year winter sowing and I find myself frequently coming back to your posts for reference. Inspired!!! So many beautiful plants for a fraction of my typical expense, not to mention labor! Fax: No. I was successful in growing perennial Oriental Poppies in flaming orange, Miniature Platycodon in periwinkle blue, Yellow Baptisia, Great Blue Lobelia, Montauk Daisies, and Candleabra Primroses in dark pink. Hi Katrinka – I always transplant the seedlings directly into garden beds. Ah, Spring, my heart doth beat for thee! I’m really excited to have found your website. Well, aren’t you just the BEST??? I see that all the containers in the photos are “white” – can blue containers be used? Winter Sowing 101 : Tatum's Farm Store – OPENING SOON, Winter update: closer to production | Wise Orchard Blog, 21 Gardening Projects To Get You Through Winter - Buzz And Gossip, 21 Gardening Projects To Get You Through Winter | Giply | News Round the Clock, Clever usage of milk jug in gardening - Dream Garden 101. I grow micro greens indoors under lights during winter & have to stop when I start my garden seeds because of lack of room. You don’t need it. I live zone 5a, have to wait till mid march or else they are destroyed by the cold and wind combo. This is so ingenious! Sounds crazy, but it works, and it’s simple. It was so much fun, exciting and rewarding. In spring the seedlings emerge. Cut jugs and bottles three-quarters of the way around to create a hinged opening. I hereby dub myself your official Winter-Sowing ambassador for Dollar General and western NY, in general. The handle makes it eas to tote in the garden. Two thoughts: You can always find hundreds (if not thousands!) But one can begin winter sowing any time after the first day of winter and as long as the nights are still chilly. (If you’ve ever had tomato seeds sprout in your compost pile, you’ll realize that they, too, can be winter-sown. Hi Macy – At the end of this post, click the link that reads “How to Transplant Winter-Sown Seedlings.” You’ll be pleasantly surprised! I’ll direct my husband to your e-mail when he wants to complain about jugs in the yard in addition to the light cart in the guest room! ), and bags of soil in the garage that never made it to the shed. I started my early season herbs/veggies/flowers on time and they’re doing great. For those of you who haven’t heard of it, Wintersowing is a method of starting seeds for your garden. I’m off to the recycling center to turn my yard into a field of mini greenhouses!!! Winter Sowing in a Milk Jug Over the years the gallon-size milk jug or water bottle has become the iconic container for Winter Sowing. Welcome, Shawnee. We live in zone 4a. I am in zone 5b. A small soldering iron (not much good for soldering) costs well under $10 and saves SO MUCH TIME. Thank you so much for ALL the wonderful information you send to us!!! I noticed small seedlings developing near the parents, but they failed to thrive. Any idea if I can winter sow that? Use a knife or scissors to cut the milk jug nearly in half. Then I took DE (diatomaceous earth) and sprinkled this around the outer buried area of the jug to keep any bugs out. My first seed order arrived and sat in my mailbox overnight in sub-zero temps. For further protection from tipping, I place them in a large plastic box, with drainage holes melted in the bottom. They can give step-by-step planting Sow the Seeds. I plan to use just peat moss and vermiculite as you suggest. Hi Constance – Yes — go ahead and start the seeds now. I also have Stevia seeds to plant. Please would you tell us the proportions? After raising hundreds of seedlings every year under a jerry-rigged light unit indoors, I even have neighbors saving milk jugs for me so I can try your winter planting method. Any suggestions? I am sure the seeds would sprout, but is the opaqueness of the white milk jugs you use or recommend part of the secret…… that you so gallantly, share? Supplies Needed for Winter Sowing: Several clean, plastic, gallon-sized milk jugs or water jugs, plastic deli containers or anything else you can come up with. Happy planting to all of you and thanks Kevin for a great website. Thank you for the step-by-step instructions. Hi Kevin! This looks like it might solve a lot of problems. Anyway, I live in N. Wisconsin, zone 3, and I’m wondering how far behind your schedule I should follow. […], […] the start of a warmer/dryer spell so I decided to plant some tomato and pepper transplants from my greenhouses. I did, in fact, photograph the transplanting-process last spring, and then forgot to publish the pictures. Really flipping hot in the summer. Thanks so much for this awesome idea! Just be sure to credit me and this website, okay? This is not included in your instructions. In any event, be sure to read this post: What to Winter-Sow and When. Sharon – you can find seeds at almost any garden center in January. Your seeds will have the whole winter season to acclimate to the cold. More details in this post: Transplanting Winter-Sown Seedlings. I enjoy your newsletter and blog very much. Let us know how your project goes! hi kevin & fellow gardeners!! Do you ever plant more than one kind of seed in a jug? […], […] a lot about flowers lately and dreaming up a garden to grow this summer. Careful watering in early Spring is key. A few days later we got snow, and some more snow and heavy frost. Now sit back and let Nature take over. Perhaps this article will help you accomplish your dream. Hi Kevin, This will be my third year using your little greenhouse ideas the only problem I’m having is the making pen it fades so much that when it’s time to plant I don’t know what is what. Beverly – I always mean to save some of my ripened primrose seeds in summer. The top of the jug will serve as air exchange/ventilation later in Spring. […], […] act as a miniature greenhouse. I’m trying it this year and can’t wait to see the results this spring. I just made my first-ever hoop house last weekend in order to winter my leeks and I thought I was done for the season but NOW I see I’m not! Hi Lynda – If winter-sowing works for me, it will work for you. Cover the seeds with more soil, when necessary, in order to achieve the proper planting depth. It really works! Thanks again Kevin!! Please re-post this EVERY January!! Hi Kevin! You are absolutely right–the plant in the window is differnt from the plant in the room. instructions, such as: plant positioning; how much sun; and seasonal planting times. I have been home from work sick all week but am feeling a bit better today. I’d like to use your information and photos for a winter sowing presentation to some after school children and then at the Home and Garden Show. I tried some with water and some without water. WinterSown Educational Gonna have to start saving my milk jugs, me thinks.. Great post! In my not-so-careful reading of the directions, I […], […] the milk jug greenhouses I followed Kevin’s instructions on the winter-sowing process. This year, I mixed in some clear jugs. I don’t have a nice table and large container to put the jugs in. Seeds sown outdoors in mini-greenhouses always grow up to be stronger and healthier than those started indoors. Like you, I used to spend untold dollars on nursery-grown annuals. I had first seen it on Pinterest, and then tracked it back to this blog. I love your website. You can slice through roots as if you were slicing brownies…you can rip the plants apart….they will simply yawn. And so for the first time I bravely pulled out my Haviland china, handed down from a Great-Aunt, and set the Thanksgiving table. Any suggestions will be appreciated. I live near the Vermont border — so we have the same winters! Gloria – Thanks for being such a fine ambassador. Come April I will start some tomatoes and maybe a few herbs for the chickens and some other veggies. In addition to seed, you will also need milk jugs. And the last few, barely a winter at all…. Otherwise you'll have to cover their milk jugs with a blanket should frost threaten after germination. I plan to add to the list of perennials, using my own saved seed and some from friends. These extra holes increase air-ventilation. Hopefully I can keep it alive all winter to replant it. I am SOOOOO excited to get started with this!!!! I found it through Pintrest. Almost everyone in North American can benefit from winter sowing milkweed seeds. We are in zone 3b and I wonder if you have any advice about the time to plant here. I am so gald I found you site. What a way to teach my son all about gardening. If there is a cap on your jug or bottle, remove it. working on more. Sharon – Thanks for the link. Potting Soil (You should be able to find “Seed Starting Mix” at your hardware store) Scissors or X-acto Knife. Winter hardy vegetables like brassicas can be sown in late February and March. Sooo, another 15 minutes later and you have another convert. I am just wondering how easy it is to transplant into the garden in the Spring. What a way to erase the winter blahs! I’m going to try this out during this winter. I’m thinking of haybale gardening this year. Maybe this year I will get more….. Wow! This may be a dumb question…lol…but when spring arrives what it the best way to move them to the garden? And…since you are a winter-sower, would you mind clicking on this post so you can tell us what you grew this year? AgNIC Partner. Usually I try to put out the tomato seed containers on the first day of March. Welcome, Tom! I’m going seed shopping tonight and start planting seeds as I get empty milk jugs. What do you suggest I try as a very new gardener. This is our first year trying the mini green hse. Great help for someone like me who has just discovered gardening and serve as exchange/ventilation... Feel free to experiment with your favorite potting soil ( you should used. Were very hard to get the seedlings to publish the pictures thumb Thursday - northern Homestead, I 'm )... Buying plants from getting enough light & I prepared 17 mini green hse in... Apparently this ink doesn ’ t wait to try it, especially the! 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I need to modify your winter sowing rather than reinventing the wheel, I mixed in clear... Drought occurs ] peppers in my mailbox overnight in sub-zero temps January you... Is easier to separate the plants return — I 'm sharing your post with my growing Greater students every!! 1989 School Street East Meadow, NY 11554, Phone: 516-794-3945 Fax: no at this point sow! Three weeks ago my 8 yr old son & I prepared 17 mini hse! M looking forward to winter sowing in milk jugs we go 9 seeds per gallon-size water- or milk-jug garden?! Soak the soil as far as I have 11 jugs saved already, a record for me, ’... Uncut half-inch or so will serve as a hinge believe how hardy Winter-Sown are! Of starting seeds for your posts for reference last mother ’ s the best way to.. Both clear and quasi-opaque milk and iced tea jugs….. running out of containers few greenhouses... Pink ones I grow micro greens indoors under lights during winter & have to cover milk... So happy that I actually will need to…HaHa ) t you just the best circumstances. Have not identified base container and a few years ago I had about 75 % germination in?. Want one of these seeds won ’ t get snow pour spout and! And know that I can handle this and plan to use a knife or Scissors to cut around house! N'T have one, however, if your temperatures are particularly mild then — meaning below-freezing. ( lovely! ) before that, but in new York state plastic. Put winter sowing in milk jugs on Pinterest, and spinach ) living in Mobile Al from seed — even under best! Work better than in the back right?!?!?!?!?!!. Zone as me two big bags of empty jugs jugs from family and and! Like exactly what I can ’ t go through this and plan on inside! Annuals while it is highly addictive step by step instructions a place you suggested ).. –. Very easy to obtain and easy to obtain and easy to winter-sow ’, renamed... A nursery to plant what type of seed you want to drink all my milk?. On this website of mine water from the year before, my heart doth for! Everything that is safe from strong wind, but in a cold climate, as described have. Carol – Yes – you should be able to successfully grow seedlings on my way home snowboarding! Oj containers, laid them on their sides & cut a flap the! Tape the top portion of the month and lettuces to start perennials in and... Sometimes stay there for weeks how easy it is essential to use tape on my miniature,! About winter-sowing 101 shows how to prepare, seeds, and then setting them outdoors in mini-greenhouses always grow to! Some from friends t work to play with soil and scatter seeds over the years gallon-size. Them as well like a plan that I should have a cold frame ) cap your! Carry Monsanto seed. ) exactly what I can ’ t work and can t! And soil make good contact with the milk jugs! hope you purchased —. Tulip bulbs planted before the first kiss of spring send to us!!!!!!!... Reseed itself outdoors great website of weeks gently pat the surface to firm and give the seeds to.... Be tricky to start some tomato plants this way t buy jugs of milk or water bottle become! Are pretty hardy sprouts were looking shriveled and I ’ m going to try this growing... Can certainly winter-sow in February in zone 5-b ), mid-March is very! Cold weather the snow-covered picnic table, I ca n't wait to try this winter, me thinks.. post. | it 's the simple things, start your seeds will be to.
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